Tuesday, June 08, 2010

The Conservative $2 million fake lake comedy round-up

I could go on a rant about how the Conservative government building a $2 million fake lake inside the G20 media centre is a ridiculous waste of taxpayer dollars, particularly for a government that claims a reputation for fiscal prudence while running-up the biggest deficits in Canadian history. But it would be too easy. And besides, unless you’re a member of the Harper cabinet legally obligated to half-heartedly defend this stupidity, you agree with me already. Even Harper mentor and former Conservative campaign manager Tom Flanagan, asked to defend fakelake last night on Power and Politics, said flat-out “I can’t” and asked for the next question.

Therefore, I’m going to choose to see the fakelake as half full and look at this latest Conservative boondoggle as $2 million in economic stimulus for Canada’s comedians. Think of it as an Canada’s comedy action plan. In that spirit, I’ve scoured the interwebs and Twitter for the best in fakelake-related humour. Some is mine, some I’ll attribute, some I’ll shamelessly copy from others because they didn’t use digital locks.

  • (Jeff Jedras) Oh, so it's a $2 million reflecting pool? I take it back, that's entirely different. Apologies.
  • (From a friend in BC) I hope they start calling this scandal WaterG8
  • (Jeff Jedras) Will half-baked #fakelake take the cake and be Harper's WaterG8? I don't wanna hate, but that’d be great
  • (Jeff Jedras) Wanted: vendor to supply mosquitoes, black flies for g20 media centre. Contract value $1.5 million. Ask for Tony.
  • (JeffJedras) If we're modelling #g20 media centre after boat show, will there be #bustyhookers beside new boats in the #fakelake?
  • (JeffJedras) "Siegfried, I know we wanted to go to Turkey for vacation this year. But I just saw this #fakelake on TV, so how about Canada?"
  • (OttGuy) #G20 to feature less bank tax talk, more talk about fixing Greece's wild spending. I suspect a fake Atlantis idea from Flaherty.
  • (OttGuy) Harper rejects calls for more funding for arid poverty stricken Africa. "What do they expect us to do for them, build them a #fakelake?"
  • (OttGuy) Truly Canadian sounds will be piped into #fakelake for international journalists. Loons, wolves and audio of all of John Baird's hissy fits.
  • OttGuy) They wanted to build dykes around #fakelake but the #CPC were concerned this might offend some of their base.
  • (PMOHarper)If I had 2 million dollars (If I had 2 million dollars) I'd buy me a lake (but not a real lake, that's cruel)
  • (PMO Harper) It's not a #fakelake, it's a reflecting pool. Muskoka is world renowned for its reflecting pools.
  • (ChrisInKW)It's a much-needed shot in the arm for the #fakelake industry... er...
  • (confute) I hope Peter MacKay's #fakedog isn't allowed in the #fakelake
  • (ThePMSaidSo) You might be mocking the #fakelake now, but when I send out that water-skiing squirrel, you'll all be thanking Big Steve.
  • (Lucers) I assume there is some kind of tax credit for first time homeowners who want to have a #fakelake put in?
  • (unknown) If they're going to spend $2 billion on an artificial lake, the least they can do is pony up a few bucks more for a Splash Zone
  • (Uranowski) Stephen Harper announces $1 Billion Fake Glacier plan to combat Global Warming.
  • (unknown) just because we have so many real lakes doesn't mean we can't be leaders in the artificial waterbody industry
  • (unknown) this will be a showcase 4 the Canadian #fakelake industry, who knows what business will be drummed up from this event
  • (greg_elmer) zut! let's be proper Canadians please. #fauxlac #fakelake
Also, be sure to listen to CBC's audio of a scrum with Peter Kent, where the Conservative minister tried to defend the fake lake. My favourite part? When a reporter is heard to say "oh, come on!"

And check out the Message Event Proposal the Conservatives filed for the G8/G20. Looks like they're right on track!


Also look at the great media that Canada's Rapidly Aging Government is getting for us in the foreign press:

Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers


Teacher Kevin said...

I made a fake Tom Thomson of FakeLake! http://ow.ly/i/1XZm#8cC

McLea said...

The “fake lake” cost $57k, not $1.9 million as reported yesterday.

When you going to devote your time to more worthwhile pursuits Jedras? I'm pretty sure being a poor man's Warren Kinsella isn't your calling in life.

Jeff said...

Gee, coming from Ezra Levant's poorer third cousin, I'll really take that advice to heart.

But but but...it'd only a $57,000 fake lake?!?!

That's the funniest one yet.

Jeff said...

And according to CTV's Roger Smith, documents show the true cost is $500,000. But then you'll defend anything the Cons do, Ezra, so it makes no difference.

ridenrain said...

If it makes the other G20 nations envious, so much the better. A big, flashy production after the success of the Olympics is just what we need to put Canada on top of the next decade.

Anonymous said...

This fake lake bruhaha is more than just a little opportunism. Muskoka is small and at capacity with the government delegates that are attending. Trying to add in 2000 delegates anywhere near the conference site would cost a lot more than keeping them in Toronto. Because of limited space, bringing 2000 more people would have meant bussing, meals and hotels for at least three days for the journalists. The gov would have had to pay the tab for that if they were going to limit traffic access to the site, as indeed they are doing. Quick calcuations on just those three elelments quickly surpasses $2M spent for hosting the event in Toronto. The alternative cost to hosting in Toronto is not zero, and is indeed more expensive, so more careful commentary is needed.

Jeff said...

And so that, Andre, is why they needed to build a fake lake?

Anonymous said...

You know, the Liberals had it right with Cretien. Golf balls are a much more effective to do this type of thing. Flags, too, way smarter.

You are right. It would be much cheaper for us if all the journalists stayed home. Politicians too! Why are we trying to promote this country anyway?

Jeff said...


(I thought I'd try using all caps to see if that helped you.)

Anonymous said...

I am not sure using all CAPs is going to be more effective on me than using logical argument is with you.

Why BlackBerrys, why nice Roots bags, why give them anything at all? Unless you want to promote the country, goodwill, and give them a reason to come.

You are promoting the country to the media to try and get them to come to the event. If they can not get close to the event, then why come at all?

Why? Because, as a country we are trying to get them to come and cover the event. They are going to be colocated with the G20 event which is immediately subsequent to the G8. They can't get to the main tent. How do you get them to come to cover the G8 if they can't get anywhere close to it?

Jeff said...

You seem to be all over the map, Andre, so forgive me if I'm having trouble following you. You started by saying the fakelake brouhaha is opportunism, because we couldn't have all the media in Muskoka and it so the conference needed two locations and that entails costs. I asked what the logistical need for two locations, and the associated costs, had to do with building a fake lake in a conference centre. You replied with something about gold balls, and seemed to imply I think all the journalists should just stay home. Still unclear why journalists need a fake lake to cover the conference, I tried again with capitals. Now you're making an argument around marketing Canada, which I think is slightly more logical, but still offbase.

Now, I get the need for two locations. Of course, you could say move the whole thing to Toronto to save costs, but that would piss of the Muskokas. Given the two-location model certain costs are going to be necessarily incurred. We can debate the initial decision to do it over two locations, but that's really secondary to the point of this post.

My issue here...well, I have many, but this post is focused on one...is the fake lake, which it seems now is a $57,000 part of a wider $1.9 million expense that is not for the media centre, but is for the marketing pavilion that will include other fun fake things.

You want to market Canada? Great. But I don't see how spending $57,000 on a fake lake does that. I think it's a hooky embarrassment, I think it will do nothing to meet the supposed goal of marketing Canada to anyone, and I think it's a huge waste of taxpayer dollars. Particularly given the already high cost of this event, and the country's fiscal state.

That, using only necessary caps, is my point. The fake lake does nothing to market Canada. It does nothing to help the media do their jobs. It's am embarrassing waste of money.

ridenrain said...

It's the cost of advertizing and now is the opportunity for that break away.
It's obvious that smoozing the media is a shoe in for good news headlines. Just look at the Liberals and the CBC. A few more glowing reports from The Economist, with a circulation of 1.6 million, and I'm guessing the lake story will be as stale as last months communion wafers.

Alison said...

Maybe they should have held the whole photo op session (excuse me, the G8/20) in the West Edmonton Mall. It's huge and it already has a beach and doesn't need gazebos or new toilets!

Unknown said...

I'm surprised at the argument "we are trying to encourage the media to cover the event" LOL and you are calling that "logic"? Obviously a word you use lightly, Andre.
Do you honestly believe if a fake lake were not build media would stay home??? It's the G-20 ... they would show up if it were help at a camp somewhere up north and they had to sleep in tents, which is closer to what SHOULD have been done. Easier to secure, FAR less public traffic to worry about or interfere with ... NO need to interrupt the regular business lives of hundreds of thousands of people. I see tons of logical benefit to hosting an event like this is in a smaller more remote location. This is all a bunch of empty hoopla ... not necessary ... not practical ... not feasible even! I can understand Harper doing it though ... he's trying to make a name for himself and just like when Mulroney tried to make a name for himself, we will pay for it for years to come.

Unknown said...

Could have been anything but a fake lake, the greatest insult to Canada.